Juliana Kanyomozi started out her music career with Iryn Namubiru as part of a singing duo known as IJ. They later separated to pursue solo careers and over the years, they have been a force to reckon with not only in Uganda but in the East African music industry.
Juliana Kanyomozi’s career which spans over 15 years has seen her release songs such as Nabikowa, Taata W’abaana and Mama Mbiire, Yegwe, Ssanyu Lyange and Mutima, among others. She paved way for many female artistes to believe in themselves in an industry that was dominated by male artistes.
Juliana, who is also the first cousin to the King Oyo of Toro was the first female artiste to be crowned artiste of the year in Pearl of Africa Music awards 2008, a year in which she also proved her acting skills by featuring in Kiwaani the movie.
However, her music career did not remain in the fast lane as expected a few years later and this would be attributed to a number of factors. Factors such as presiding over the Tusker Project fame for two seasons (2009 and 2013) as a judge.
It was also during the same period that she lost her only child Raphael Kabugo, who died in late July 2014 as well as signing with international cosmetics company Oriflame to be their ambassador in a long contract.
Consequently, the 36-year-old was not as active in the music industry as before. From time to time, she released a couple of songs while others did not make it out of studio. Tracks such as Woman, Right Here and Still Here are some of the singles she has released in the intervening years.
On July 2, Juliana released her third album to the general public and this comes after a seven-year break follwing the release of the first two albums; Nabikowa and Kanyimbe, which came out in 2009 and 2011 respectively.
New love album
This album titled ‘Bits and Pieces’ has eleven tracks and it is predominantly made up of love songs, typical of Juliana. She expresses herself and delves into everyday issues in some of the songs. The album has songs that can work both on radio stations and night clubs. It is comprised of RnB, soul and Afrobeat songs that can be enjoyed by both upmarket and average fans.
Perfectionist at work
Besides tracks such as Woman, Twalina Omukwano, I am still here, Right here and Wakajanja that were released as singles, the album consists of other songs like ‘Nakupenda’ which was written by Karoline from Kenya and recorded by D-King. The song is a mixture of English and Swahili and if you watched her in Coke Studio, it is the same track she performed with Nigeria’s Mr Flavour.
Also on the album is Omukwano Ogwedda, a song written by Sylver Kyagulanyi and recorded at Swangz Avenue. It is entirely a Luganda song with vocals done by Naava Grey.
‘Voodoo’ is another interesting song on this album. The dancehall track that can be played both in clubs and on radio was written by A Pass while Nessim did the production. It was done in English with some lines inserted from Luganda.
Naliko Omukyala, is a song about domestic violence, a situation she says she was in at some point in her life and she did this song in 2013. Asked why it took her many years to release it, she says.,“This is a timely song. It is a song that has no limits.” It was written by Peter Nawe and recorded at Swangz Avenue.
Song number nine of this album is Zaabu and this was written by Sylver Kyagulanyi and produced by Crouch while the last one is titled Twala, also written by Kyagulanyi and produced by Crouch. However, the difference with this one is that it features Michael Ouma with his guitar expertise, giving it an urban feel.
Speaking about this album, Juliana Kanyomozi says it was the right time for her to release it as her fans have been demanding a lot.
“It has taken me time to release this album because I am a perfectionist. I always do classy things and I had to make sure that what I deliver is to everyone’s expectations,” she added.
All about love
Released early this month, coming after a break of seven years, most of the songs on Juliana’s new album, Bits and Pieces are about love because, she says, “love’ is the best thing to sing about and besides, she did not want to differ from the Juliana people have always known.
The album, which features some international collaborations such as Nakupenda written by Karoline from Kenya is on major platforms such as Spotify, and Itunes and was recently number two on Itunes, only toppled by Drake’s Scorpion.